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Second things first

A couple of ‘second’ things have occurred lately for Australian Church Women (ACW) as we continue the journey through the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic. For the second year, our recent World Community Day Service has been hosted as a virtual event on our ACW website, and now our ACW blog has celebrated its second birthday.

In keeping with second things, this week’s blogpost is about an event that was recorded in the second official year of Australian Church Women, in the second month of 1967, in the minutes of the second annual ACW National Committee Meeting. Mrs Lillian Wells, the wife of Rev. HT Wells, belonged to the Congregational Church of Australia and when Mrs Wells visited the USA, she was able to attend a World Community Day event at a Congregational Church in Hartford, Connecticut. Here is the report on her experience:

Mrs. H. T. Wells, who had been present at this day in 1966, was asked to speak concerning this. Mrs. Wells spoke briefly concerning Church Women United (U.S.A.), including (1) that they organise annually Women's World Day of Prayer, Fellowship Day and World Community Day (2) that they have a full-time observer at all meetings of the United Nations. Preparations for each special day commence 6 months before the date of the event. The following is taken from Mrs. Wells' report concerning World Community Day at Hartford; literature was available for inspection.

“The venue was South Congregational Church, Hartford, the capital of Connecticut; the observance of this day (the 23rd occasion on which it was celebrated) took from I0am until 3pm. The Worship Service on the theme, 'Laity: Rights, Resources, Responsibilities', was written by Sister Mary Luke, the only American woman appointed as an auditor at the Second Vatican Council, and this form of worship was printed and distributed all over the nation by Church Women United.
“Following the service was a Forum, at which several women spoke briefly on the topic of the day, from the standpoint of American Church Women's part in helping others (both at home and overseas) to achieve the freedoms listed in the U.N. Charter. After this, we broke into discussion groups of about 25 or so, and each one considered the U.S. Foreign Aid Programme and the part of Christian women in this, in Africa, S.E. Asia (Phillipines [sic] especially) and Brazil. In each group there was a 'resource person' and a discussion leader, and according to conversations at lunch time, the work done in these varied considerably. Name tags were in the form of the countries to be included in discussion, and that was the discussion group to which we went.
“At lunch time I was welcomed and asked to take greetings back to ACW from those present at the Hartford meeting. In my acknowledgment of the welcome, I conveyed greetings from ACW and spoke of our indebtedness to Church Women United for introducing Fellowship Day and World Community Day to us."
“The afternoon prograrnme contained an address on U.N., plus closing worship, during which the offering for special programme was received. One of these special projects was the building of a centre for the training of women in the highlands of New Guinea – C.W.U. will build the centre; the Australian Trusteeship Administration will staff and equip it; and C.W.U. will provide scholarships to bring women to the centre.
“It was a privilege to share in World Community Day in a city in this, the country of its origin. Much printed material was distributed to all who registered.
“The luncheon was far and away beyond Australian standards in this respect – all the catering and serving was done by the hostess church, and everyone paid for the meal. Special place-mats and table napkins, all appropriate to the day, were used."

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This Herstory Blog of Australian Church Women Inc. tells the stories of the women and activities of this national Christian organisation that was founded in February 1965.

Stories that inspired and encouraged me to begin this blog and share their inspiration with you. Stories that need to be told so that the women of ACW can be honoured and celebrated for their achievements and experiences in local, national and international communities of faith. And, most importantly, stories that demonstrate being disciples of Jesus Christ firmly underpins all that Australian Church Women represents.

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